Apple notebook refresh rumored to arrive October 14 (updated)

Apple notebook refresh rumored to arrive October 14 (updated)

Summary: Daring Fireball's Jon Gruber posted an interest mention in his Notes and Observations piece after Apple's Let's Rock event on Tuesday. Buried at the end of his third paragraph is this little gem that predicts the date of the upcoming MacBook revision:Those of you holding out for a new lineup of MacBooks will have to wait until October 14, according to sources who, as they say, are familiar with Apple’s hardware plans.

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MacBook revision rumored for October 14Daring Fireball's Jon Gruber posted an interest mention in his Notes and Observations piece after Apple's Let's Rock event on Tuesday. Buried at the end of his third paragraph is this little gem that predicts the date of the upcoming MacBook revision:

Those of you holding out for a new lineup of MacBooks will have to wait until October 14, according to sources who, as they say, are familiar with Apple’s hardware plans.

No other details were given but, for what it's worth, October 14 is a Tuesday and we know that Apple likes to make their announcements on Tuesdays.

MacBooks and MacBook Pros are currently Apple's longest shipping products and arguably most in need of a refresh. According to the MacRumors Buyers Guide it has been 198 days since the MacBook was updated and its average revision window is 192 days. The MacBook Pro was also updated  198 days ago and its average revision window is 194 days. Both products are listed as "Don't Buy - Updates Soon."

CNet's Tom Krazit notes that Apple missed the back-to-school buying window for notebooks and that problems delivering Intel's new Centrino 2 mobile chips probably contributed to the delay.

So let's review some of the current speculation around what we can expect to see in Apple's new notebooks.

ComputerWorld’s Seth Weintraub mentioned that the new MB and MBP will be "going glass." Ignore for the moment that he targeted the "end of September," we'll blame the delay on Intel. He posits:

  • The new models are thinner than current MacBook and MacBook Pros and slightly more rounded, taking design cues from the MacBook Air.
  • The trackpad is glass, multi-touch and uses gestures. The screen isn’t multi-touch.
  • The body is manufactured out of one piece of aluminum. Eco-friendly, yet sturdy. Manufacturing process is completely different.

AppleInsider adds that Apple may be exploring chip alternatives for the new notebooks but that the primary CPU will continue to come from Intel.

Taiwanese web site Apple.pro (with thanks to AppleOwner) posted purported leaked photos of the new aluminum MacBook enclosure (pictured above.)

Some have said that the newest MacBook Pro (not the MacBook, mind you) will also include an optical drive capable of reading (not writing) Blu-Ray discs. ZDNet's own Robet Harris noted that Panasonic announced the industry’s first slim-line (9.5 mm) Blu-ray DVD writer at CES on January 6 and that Panasonic supplies most of Apple’s notebook DVD burners, so draw your own conclusions there.

Update: Although it's been 240 days since the MacBook Air was announced in January there's no historical data to indicate when Apple might update its new-ish subnotebook. It's been noted that the new 120GB iPod classic hard drive is the same 1.8-inch mechanism found in the MBA so it stands to reason that that will trickle down to the MBA in the next revision. Also, Toshiba began shipping a low-cost 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD) back in March 2008, so it stands to reason that a higher-cap SSD option will also land in the MBA soon.

What would you like to see in new Apple portables?

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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18 comments
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  • Mac Hardware - No Reward for Loyalty

    How many iPod/iPhone events have there been between now and the last mainstream Mac (sorry, but that doesn't include the niche Air).

    The Mac faithful have been really neglected and it's pretty sad. Take a look at the Apple Store and you'll see things like 1GB Memory, Combo Drives and 160GB HDDs. Should these exist as specs in Q4 2008? The ENTIRE lineup needs to be updated and even if there's an Oct update then it will focus only one 1 product (and nobody knows for sure which one).

    I know I am coming off really bitter but I put a few grand aside well over a year ago for a Macbook Pro and Mac Mini. But where's the updates? Prices remain the same ($2300 MBP/$800 Mini) yet specs are straight out of 2007. I find that to be disgusting business and the ONLY reason I don't go out and buy a PC is because I am "trying" to be loyal Apple.

    Sure, I'm excited for whatever hardware Apple decides to upgrade but I find it to be pathetic that my loyalty is getting so abused.

    (Okay. Now slam me for putting my consumer needs above Apple's)
    Urkel
    • Well, I for one

      am quite appalled at your audacious display of self absortion.

      Who are [i]you[/i] to dictate to Apple what is best for consumers?

      Take what Apple knows you should have, and rejoice in the wonder that is Apple!

      I am joking: Seriouslly, it is hard for any company that operates like Apple (their own products in their own store) to sell at a loss to retire inventory.
      GuidingLight
      • apple hardware-

        Apple hardware is awesome (and looks great,) and the OS is awesome too... I don't make a point to slam other products... I have a Win XP Home and Linux boxes, but I still like the Macs best...
        Brand new Apple stuff is expensive, yet lots of people are still buying it and would never go back! If you don't want to spend that kind of money, quit whining, and use dreamlinux or something! That, or realize that you can get computers at other places besides the Apple Store or Best Buy... with a little research, you can find a MBP for about half the price of brand new, because someone decided an iMac was a better choice...
        Something else to kick around, though- my iMac cost me $100 with Tiger installed, and my PowerBook G4 set me back a princely $125 beans... if you want better deals, they're out there.
        unclefixer@...
        • Apple hardware is awesome?

          Let's see, 4 Macs have been in the shop a total of 6 times. Meanwhile, other hardware we have has been running fine. They need to improve their QA a LOT.
          rpmyers1
          • Apple Hardware Poor Quality - There's a Reason Tech Support Gets Rated High

            I have to agree with that. People from the old Apple days know how bulletproof Apple Hardware was. They charged a lot but the price was somewhat justified because the hardware really was a step above the PC market. But nowadays people hold on to that 1990's idea of hardware and wrongly apply it to todays Macs which are made in the same factories as the Dell's and HP's that Mac users keep slamming.

            Apple Tech Support has been good since the beginning, but you know why people brag about it so much nowadays? Because cruddy hardware forces them to call. I managed an office of Macs in the 90's and only called Apple support once for the entire decade. Now I only have 3 personal Macs and I've had numerous repairs, called tech support a dozen times and currently have a whistling Macbook that is fading away after only 18months.

            Sure, quality tech support is good but the BEST support call is the one you never have to make because your computer isn't flakey.
            Urkel
    • If you put..

      a few grand aside "well over a year ago," why didn't you buy
      at the last refresh, seven months ago?
      msalzberg
      • Re: Why I Didn't Buy

        "why didn't you buy at the last refresh, seven months ago? "

        - Macbook Pro has been obnoxiously overpriced

        - Full product update (not just refresh) should either give better value or lower price

        - Constant rumors of "next month Apple is announcing..."

        - Current model is extremely difficult to update HDD

        - Overheating issues due to poor design and materials


        Frankly, anyone who doesn't "need" a MBP and bought one in the past few months is going to be severely disappointed when the new model comes out. There is so much room for improvement that Apple has to have something special up it's sleeve. The problem is that they're so secretive that we (extremely obsessive fans) can do nothing but speculate and hope that Apple will throw us a bone.
        Urkel
        • By your logic...

          you should never buy any tech item, since it will get cheaper
          and more powerful in the future.

          If you really want to save money, look at Apple's refurbs.
          msalzberg
    • A real new MacBook Pro

      I have to agree with Urkel here. Occasionally in the past
      Apple has been on (or at least near) the cutting edge of
      computer technology (PPC, SCSI, Firewire, USB, etc.), but
      more recently they seem to be far more focussed on
      consumer appliances like ipods and smart phones. Intel is
      designing the CPUs, Mobos, and most of the hardware that
      goes into Macs these days. The name switch from Apple
      Computer to Apple, Inc. was a clear signal and coincided
      with a seeming ambivalence to their computer business
      and their general emphasis of style over substance. The
      next generation of MacBook Pros should be true 64-bit
      portable work stations with mobile C2D or quad core cpus,
      4 RAM slots and a memory controller that can address
      more than 4 GB of memory. Unfortunately I think we're far
      more likely to see another me-too box with blu-ray drives
      and a pretty new aluminum case (can you anodize
      aluminum in pastel shades?). Come on Apple, give us a
      laptop we can get some real work done on.
      fredd1
      • "Cutting Edge" should be internal, not literal.

        You make a good point. Intel does most of the work nowadays since the chipset, proc and board are all taken care of. So where exactly is the "Apple Magic"? I absolutely love the OS (which is why I overpay for Macs) but this is a company that was known for being ahead of the curve. Yet what is the last feature to truly earn the "innovative" buzzword? Two-finger tap replacing a one-finger mouse button? Rotating pictures with awkward gestures? Tapered edges are not Cutting Edge design.

        I know some people get personally offended when you have an opinion on their favorite corporate teddy bear, but it's the truth. Apple may be leading the pack with iPods and iPhones but they are falling behind in terms of their original business of building computers. So an update (and a price drop) is long overdue.
        Urkel
  • Since I still use a 1.33 GHz G4 PowerBook

    as my laptop machine, I'm not really feeling your pain... sorry.
    frgough
    • RE: Apple notebook refresh rumored to arrive October 14 (updated)

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  • Dell's new line of notebooks ROCKS!!!

    You want to know what Rocks? New Dell notebook computers. You want innovation, use Vista Ultimate edition and get ready for one SWEET ride. I am so sick of hearing about Macs and Apple. My rep and I have launched Operation Rotten to the Core v3.0. Our new approach is quite subtle: we pulled all apples out of the cafeteria and replaced the fruit with churros. I also placed pictures of Conquistador shoes all over the cafeteria.
    Mike Cox
  • 128 MB SSD?

    Please correct that please...
    afrancuzik74
  • RE: Apple notebook refresh rumored to arrive October 14 (updated)

    I don't have any issues with the past and current Macs. I still
    have my 1.5 GHz G4 Power Book running fine. The battery
    has had it, however. 6 months ago I got a MBP 2.6 GHz 15"
    4GB RAM. Yes, it cost me quite a bit, but the only thing I
    really would like is a Blu-Ray drive. A new line in October,
    doesn't really bother me, I'll have 7+ months of using my
    MBP.
    ManoaHI
  • How about two simple things:

    1. A real Delete key (not a Backspace key labeled "Delete")

    2. MATTE SCREEN
    dgurney
  • RE: Apple notebook refresh rumored to arrive October 14 (updated)

    Awesome!I don't have any issues with the past and current Macs. I still <br>have my 1.5 GHz G4 Power Book running fine. The battery <br>has had it, however. 6 months ago I got a MBP 2.6 GHz 15" <br>4GB RAM. Yes, it cost me quite a bit, but the only thing I <br>really would like is a Blu-Ray drive. A new line in October, <br>doesn't really bother me, I'll have 7+ months of using my <br>MBP.<br> <a href="http://edpillsuk.com">this page</a> | <a href="http://anxietystopper.com">this site</a> | <a href="http://kamagra.name">ed pills here</a>
    albalb
  • RE: Apple notebook refresh rumored to arrive October 14 (updated)

    321
    albalb